While research has found that even if your phone hasn’t been powered on, its close proximity to you is a distraction, data from KDM Engineering shows that 10% of Americans say they’ve “had their phone out” in a job interview. Still, 20% of employees say they look at their phone a minimum of “once every 20 minutes at work.”
Clearly, our attachment to our smartphones runs deep — while 60% of people think they make contact with their phone a maximum of 100 times daily, the data shows that “a typical user taps, touches or swipes their phone 2,617 times per day.”
Two thousand Americans — working full-time, part-time, plus some who were unemployed, retired, and disabled and not working because of it — weighed in.
How people use their phones at work
The data shows that while 70% of respondents think it’s “inappropriate to have a smartphone out” while a meeting is going on, 53% still admit to doing this. Plus, although 80% think it’s “inappropriate to” look at their phone while a meeting is happening, 50% admit to doing this. Seventy-seven percent even say that they bring their device with them into the office bathroom.
A staggering 92% of those polled think that “smartphone addiction is real.”
Here’s a full breakdown of how often people check their phones in the workplace:
- “Every hour:” 25%
- “Every 20 minutes:” 20%
- “Every 2-3 hours:” 19%
- “Every half hour:” 14%
- “About twice a day:” 10%
- “Every 3-5 hours:” 10%
- “Never put it down:” 2%
Here’s how people use their phones outside of work
Here’s how many respondents have interacted with phones in specific ways outside the office:
- “Rely on their phone’s GPS ‘almost all the time:'” 62%
- “While using public transportation:” 57%
- “Have texted while driving:” 54%
- “Have used phone in a theater:” 49%
While three-quarters of respondents say that they’re “hesitant or embarrassed to take a selfie in public,” 51% think that “it’s appropriate to” be on their phones when “people are walking behind them.”
But while 79% don’t think it’s “appropriate to” be on them when going from one street to another, 49% say they still fall into this trap. Still, while 40% say they’ve “looked over a stranger’s shoulder to read their text or screen,” 30% say they’ve had their “phone out during a first date.”
Surprisingly, almost half of those surveyed — 49% — say that they’ve snapped a picture of a stranger in a public setting without the person finding out.
Collin Czarnecki, a Content Strategist at Digital Third Coast who assisted with the data analysis for KDM, told Ladders about the research.
“People are inextricably linked to their phones. We wanted to find out if there are hard and fast rules or ‘etiquette’ when it comes to smartphone use in public, private, and at work. This research taught us a lot of interesting trends about what people think is and isn’t acceptable,” he said. “One interesting trend demonstrates how comfortable people feel using their smartphones at the office. We found that while the vast majority of Americans feel it’s inappropriate to have or use their smartphone during a meeting, more than half still do it. And the majority of workers check their phone at least one an hour while at the office.”
Here’s how people tackle their phone notifications
Here’s how people address notifications “in order of urgency:”
2) Phone Call
10) Dating App
What kinds of notifications usually steal your attention first?
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